What is the actual purpose of AC power?

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I have a very limited knowledge of electrical engineering that almost entirely revolves around music equipment. From everything that I’ve seen, music equipment ends up converting the AC power to DC power right at the power entry point (or at least soon after). It appears they’re converting AC power to a higher voltage and current DC power. Is the only real advantage of AC power to pump more power over a line to where devices will then manipulate it to what they need in DC? Are there any common household items that actually fully operate off of AC power or does everything convert to DC at some point?

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It was chosen because it’s easy to multiply and divide the voltage with transformers. The voltage can be raised very high to transmit over long distances with minimal loss to cable resistance.. then dropped back down for distribution in neighborhoods, then again to feed homes.

Most light bulbs including florescents use a.c.
(Led bulbs have a converter inside)

I believe that if you go way back in history, it was determined that it was easier to transmit a.c. over greater distances than d.c.

To give you the simplest possible answer, it is much easier to transmit A/C over long distances.

So, if you want to create a national power grid to supply a whole country then A/C is the way.

If you used DC then you would need boosters all over the place to keep the signal strong and useable.

This is an excellent question. In the early days of technology, it was not obvious which one would be the best choice for electrical distribution. Google “Edison v Westinghouse” for a list of historical works describing what went into this. It’s fascinating. Spoiler alert: as mentioned in all the other answers to this question, AC won because it’s far easier to manipulate from an engineering perspective. For long-distance transmission, you want low current and (very) high voltage. End users, on the other hand, want high current and (relatively) low voltage. AC makes it easy to convert from one to the other using transformers.

I thought ac was supposed to be safer. Did I dream that?